January 8, 2021

Portable infusion pump can make patients more mobile and relieve nurses

Administration of medication, such as antibiotics, is often done intravenously, through an IV. In the Netherlands, more than 2 million treatments are performed this way each year. Patients undergoing this treatment often use an infusion pump attached to a mobile stand. This is a rather cumbersome device that impedes patients’ mobility. This is particularly unfortunate because physical activity is a crucial factor in the recovery process.

Reason for start-up Ivy Medical, part of the innovation lab of Radboudumc in Nijmegen, to develop a portable system, in which the well-known wheeled pole with infusion pump and infusion bag makes way for a compact shoulder bag. At Radboudumc, they were so impressed with this innovation that Ivy Medical was invited to further develop their concept in practice. Recently, the two parties signed a collaboration agreement.

The Ivy One, as the portable infusion pump system is called, is more than just a compact portable version of a regular pump. A regular infusion pump is unsuitable for movement and is also vulnerable. The designers of Ivy Medical had to develop a system that was not only portable but also sturdy and accurate in all circumstances.


With the Ivy One, patients receive their infusion from a bag that can be worn on the hip, belly, or back. Patients are free to move around and even do exercises with a physical therapist while wearing the infusion. The device is lightweight (less than 500 grams), compact, and easy to operate. In addition, it is designed to be compatible with the most common infusion bags up to 500 ml.

It is expected that the Ivy One will not only improve patients’ lives but also save time for nursing staff. According to Melcher Frankema, CEO of Ivy Medical, a nurse spends more than 2 hours every day on infusion therapy. “The Ivy One makes infusion therapy predictable and generates fewer alarms, which gives back 40 minutes a day to the nurse and reduces high work pressure,” he says. Additionally, the portable infusion also reduces costs and plastic waste.

This year will focus on further development of the Ivy One and gaining experience in clinical practice. If it leads to a favorable clinical evaluation, the goal is to launch the portable infusion in 2022.

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